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Robotics and AI: Perception versus reality

Speaking ahead of the Robotics and AI Industry Showcase in Manchester on 12 March, a leading technology expert outlines the benefits of advanced machinery and the barriers to adoption.

The RAI Industry Showcase is a one-day conference and exhibition organised by the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). The event aims to demonstrate how cutting-edge RAI technologies can boost business productivity.

Attendees will be able to learn about RAI capabilities in the UK, gain an insight into future trends, hear from companies already adopting the technology and make new connections in the industry.

Speaking to KTN ahead of the event, Dave Swan, Chief Technology Officer of the event sponsor, Tharsus, said it would be a great opportunity for anyone interested in getting started with new technology or doing more with it than they have already:

“You’ll get to hear from people who have already done it for their company and understand the difference it made for them. It’s the ideal opportunity to enhance your own knowledge and understanding of what’s possible, make helpful connections, pick up some useful facts and gain inspiration from others.

“Technology can solve the pressing problem of doing more with less. It can create complex things more quickly and reliably, to a more consistent standard. There are other advantages in terms of optimising product and production. AI and machine learning in design, for example, can spot and incorporate trends in a way that humans would miss and maybe not understand, but which nonetheless have value to the completed design.”

Discussing the barriers preventing the widespread adoption of robotics and AI technology, he added:

“Legislative frameworks are not in place as this is all so new, which is a significant issue… There is also a fundamental disparity between the popular image of what’s involved in introducing RAI technology and the reality. 

“There is a need for all of us working with the technology to educate people about what is actually possible at this stage.”

The RAI Industry Showcase will be hosted at Audacious Church in Manchester on 12 March 2019. For more information, visit

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